2022 Best Bourbon, Best Scotch & More


May 27, 2022

In our second year, the tasters of The American Spirits Council of Tasters (ASCOTs) uncovered some unknown spirits as Best in Category as well as stalwart brands we expected to be there. The results for category and subcategory are below, but tonight you’ll see superstar professional tasters determine at 9 p.m. Eastern Best in Show Whiskey.

Every taster is different, but most judges have at least 10 years of professional tasting experience and work on other prominent competitions, such as the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, where I also judge. Once again, the competition was virtual and for the first round judges tasted on their own time.

How it works: Judges are on panels, but taste on their own time. Send in their scores, which are tallied with their fellow panelist scores and the top tier move on to the next round, where they are tasted again to determine category winners. Category winners move on to the finals to compete for Best in Show, which airs tonight.

We announced the 2022 winners for Double Platinum, Platinum, Gold and Honorable Mention on Monday (5.23), UPROXX shared the 2022 Best In Category winners on Wednesday (5.25) HERE, and tonight at 9 PM ET, we host a livestream taste test on my YouTube channel to determine the Best In Show winner. 

The ASCOT Awards judges virtually taste-tested more than 800 spirits over three months and received entries from major distilleries and small distilleries alike. Judges for the awards include esteemed members of the spirits world and range from bar owners, bartenders, mixologists, spirits industry execs, spirits educators and more. Each entry is evaluated on a 100-point scale based on criteria including appearance, aroma, taste, and finish. This year’s judges include author, bar owner, concept creator, and educator, Martin Cate, educator, influencer, and highly sought-after special events bartender Tiffanie Barriere, world’s first female Master Bourbon Taster, founder of the nationwide organization Bourbon Women, and a member of the Kentucky Distillers Association and Whiskey Magazine Halls of Fame Peggy Noe Stevens, world-renowned mixologist, spirits industry educator, and icon of cocktail culture, Francesco Lafranconi, and others.

2022 ASCOT Awards winners

Best Bourbon: Bulleit Barrel Strength – Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Best Rye: Smooth Ambler Contradiction Rye – Blend of Straight Rye

Best Scotch Whiskey: Ardbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Years Old

Best American Rye Single Barrel Whiskey: Middle West Spirits Straight Rye Whiskey – Dark Pumpernickel Cask Strength

Best American Single Malt Whiskey: Old Line Spirits American Single Malt Sherry Cask Finish – American Single Malt

Best American Whiskey: Old Carter Whiskey Co. – Old Carter Straight American Whiskey

Best Wheat Whiskey: Journeyman Distillery – Corsets, Whips, and Whiskey 

Best Light Whiskey: Penelope American Light Whiskey

Jack Daniel’s 10 year wins best Tennessee whiskey. Now it goes on to compete for Best in Show in the 2022 ASCOTs.

Best Tennessee Whiskey: Jack Daniel’s 10-years-old Tennessee Whiskey

Best World Whiskey: Archie Rose Distilling Co. Single Malt Whiskey 

Best Tequila: Familia Camarena Reposado Tequila

Best Liqueur: Foro Rosso Vermouth di Torino

Best Vodka: Heaven Hill Distillery – Deep Eddy Lemon Vodka

Best Gin: Ventura Spirits Wilder Gin

Best Rum: Privateer Rum Distiller’s Drawer – Intrepid – Aged Rum 

Best Mezcal: Cutwater Spirits Mezcal Joven 

Best Whiskey Club Pick: 5280 Whiskey Society Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel “Thunder Chicken”

Best New Bottle Design: Green River

Best Blender: Penelope

Best Craft Distiller: Huber’s Starlight Distillery 

Best Large Spirits Producer: Heaven Hill 

Best Independent Bottler: Doc Swinson’s 

Breakout Distiller of the Year: Smooth Ambler

Rising Star Spirits Company: Pierre Ferrand 

Best Brand Ambassador: Stephen Fante, Whiskey Ambassador, Limestone Branch Distillery

Whiskey Club of the Year: The Dallas Bourbon Club

2022 Sub Category Winners

Best Straight Bourbon: Bulleit Barrel Strength

Best Single Barrel Bourbon | Up to 10 Years: Redemption High Rye Single Barrel Select

Best Special Barrel-Finished Bourbon: Doc Swinson’s Exploratory Cask La Mente 

Best Special Barrel-Finished Rye: Old Scout Rye Port Cask Finish

Best American WhiskeyOld Carter Straight American Whiskey

Best American Whiskey: Single Barrel291 Colorado Whiskey Finished with Aspen Staves, Barrel Proof Single Barrel

Best American Rye Whiskey: O.H. Ingram River Aged Straight Rye Whiskey

Best American Rye Whiskey: Single BarrelMiddle West Spirits Straight Rye Whiskey – Dark Pumpernickel Cask Strength

Best Small Batch Bourbon | Up to 5 YearsThe Heart Distillery Cask Bourbon

Best Small Batch Bourbon | 6 to 10 YearsMoylan’s Cask Strength Bourbon

Best Small Batch Bourbon | 11 Years and OlderCinder & Smoke 16 YEAR

Best Wheat BourbonW.L. Weller Full Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Best Craft BourbonStarlight Distillery Single Barrel Bourbon

Best Craft RyeFrey Ranch Bottled-In-Bond Straight 100% Rye Whiskey

Best Canadian WhiskyParadigm 2022 Heritage Collection

Best Tennessee WhiskeyJack Daniel’s 10-Years-Old Tennessee Whiskey

Best World WhiskyArchie Rose Distilling Co Single Malt Whisky

Best Light WhiskeyPenelope American Light Whiskey

Best Craft WhiskeyChattanooga Bottled in Bond Fall 2017 Vintage

Best Special Barrel-Finished WhiskeySaints Alley Heretic

Best Blend of Straight BourbonPenelope Bourbon Private Select Batch 21

Best Blend of Straight RyeSmooth Ambler Contradiction Rye

Best Whiskey Club Barrel Pick – Tiebreaker Taste Off!

5280 Whiskey Society – Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel “Thunder Chicken” 

Naptown Bourbon Club Pick – Backbone Bourbon Uncut

Best Blended MaltLost Lantern American Vatted Malt Edition No. 1

Best Blended Irish WhiskeyThe Quiet Man Traditional Blend

Best Blend of Straight Whiskies: Bardstown Triple Blended Stave Finish Distillery Exclusive

Best Blended ScotchNew Wellington Brands Fior

Best American Single Malt – Tiebreaker Taste Off!

Cloudsplitter Single Malt Whisky

Old Line American Single Malt Sherry Cask Finish

Best Single Malt Scotch – No Age StatementArdbeg Uigeadail

Best Single Malt ScotchArdbeg Traigh Bhan 19 Years Old – Batch #3

Best Single Malt Scotch – Up to 12 Years: Glenmorangie Lasanta

Best Corn WhiskeyParadigm Spirits Co. 2020 Heritage Collection

Best Wheat WhiskeyJourneyman Distillery Corsets Whips and Whiskey

Best Flavored WhiskeyTennessee Legend Salted Caramel

Best Moonshine | FlavoredTennessee Legend Apple Pie Moonshine

Best Flavored VodkaDeep Eddy Lemon

Best VodkaDeep Eddy Lemon

Best GinWilder Gin

Best Flavored GinTinkerman’s Gin – Sweet Spice

Best Aged RumPrivateer Rum Distiller’s Drawer – Intrepid

Best Flavored Rum (Spiced)Bohique Spiced Rum

Best Unaged TequilaCampovaso Blanco Tequila

Best Reposado TequilaFamilia Camarena Reposado Tequlia

Best Anejo TequilaE. Cuarenta Anejo Tequila

Best Flavored TequilaAntano Valencia Orange Flavored Tequila

Best MezcalCutwater Spirits Mezcal Joven

Best Sotol: Cazul 100 Sotol Blanco

Best American Agave SpiritCutwater Spirits Mezcal Reposado

Best BaijiuMing River Sichuan Baijiu

Best Cognac: Flavored: Grand Brulot VSOP Cognac & Café

Best Apple BrandyStarlight Distillery 10 Year Bottled-In-Bond Estate Apple Brandy

Best Grape BrandyO’Neill Vintners & Distillers BRANDYLAB

Best Plum BrandyYebiga Bela Plum Brandy


Best Liqueur | Herbal/BotanicalForo Amaro

Best Liqueur | ChocolateFaretti Biscotti Chocolate

Best Liqueur | CoffeeGranddad Jack’s Barbershop Coffee Liqueur

Best Liqueur | Cream/DairyEvan Williams Egg Nog

Liqueurs | AperitifForo Rosso Vermouth di Torino

Best Liqueur | Fruit – Tiebreaker Taste Off!

PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur

Ferrand Dry Curaçao

Best Liqueur | Nut: Watershed Nocino

Best Ready-to-Drink Seltzer: Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka + Soda

Best Ready-to-Drink CocktailCutwater Spirits Tiki Rum Punch

Best Mixers Non-AlcoholicBetty Buzz Sparkling Lemon Lime

View the full list of winners at AscotAwards.com.